Benefits of Breastfeeding
- Human milk is easier to digest and contains more than 200 components that babies need in the early months of life.
- Factors in breast milk protect infants from a wide variety of illnesses.
- Children who have been breastfed have less risk of becoming overweight or obese even as adults.
- Lack of breastfeeding is a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Human milk protects premature infants from life-threatening gastrointestinal diseases.
- Formula-fed infants have twice the risk of having ear infections in the first year than infants who are exclusively breastfed for at least 4 months.
- Breastfeeding protects infants from infections, allergies, and diarrhea.
- Mothers who breastfed for at least 3 months may also lose more weight than mothers who did not breastfeed.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
- Breastfeeding is free!!
- Breastfeeding reduces health care costs.
WIC & Breastfeeding
The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program strongly supports breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is recommended exclusively for the first six months, along with continued breastfeeding for the first year, and then as long as mother and baby decide to continue.
WIC encourages all moms to breastfeed by offering breastfeeding education and assistance through our breastfeeding peer counselors and WIC nutritionists who are Certified Breastfeeding Educators. Additional services offered through your local WIC agency include:
- Breast Pump Loan Program
- Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program
- Breastfeeding Supplies
- Breastfeeding Peer Counselor
Peer Counselor Program
The WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program helps new moms learn to breastfeed their babies. Breastfeeding is a natural process, but it is a learned process! We, the WIC breastfeeding peer counselors, are mothers just like you who have successfully breastfed our babies, and now we would like to use our experiences to help you be successful too!
To help you learn to breastfeed your baby successfully, we will:
- Call you during your pregnancy to answer any questions you may have about breastfeeding.
- Offer you free one-on-one help so you will learn how to hold your baby while breastfeeding and get him or her "latched on" correctly.
- Provide you with resources, such as books and videos, to help you learn more about breastfeeding.
- Be available to you 24 hours a day to help you with any problems or questions that come up at any time while you are breastfeeding.
- Provide you with free supplies, as you need them, such as breast pumps, breast pads, lanolin cream, breast shells, etc.
- Help you learn to work breastfeeding into your busy schedule by giving you tips on breastfeeding when going back to work or school.
- Help you learn to pump and store your milk so that you have milk to feed your baby when you are separated.
- Show you how you can breastfeed discreetly when in public so you don't feel embarrassed.
- Give you the support and encouragement you need to help make breastfeeding a positive experience.
Useful Breastfeeding Links
- Baby Gooroo: This website is a great go-to website for everything pregnancy, baby and kids. It gives you information on products that are available and provides useful information on commonly asked questions that come up during your journey as a parent.
- Breastfeeding for Working Mothers: This website has a variety of tips for breastfeeding moms who are also working.
- KellyMom: This website has a variety of breastfeeding tips.
- Le Leche League website
- Newborn Nursery: This website has a great video that shows moms how to hand-express breast milk. Hand-expressing your milk after breastfeeding or pumping has been proven to increase milk supply.